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Posts Tagged ‘euro’

How the Eurograbber Attack Stole 36M Euros

December 6th, 2012 12:02 admin View Comments

Security

Orome1 writes “Check Point has revealed how a sophisticated malware attack was used to steal an estimated €36 million from over 30,000 customers of over 30 banks in Italy, Spain, Germany and Holland over summer this year. The theft used malware to target the PCs and mobile devices of banking customers. The attack also took advantage of SMS messages used by banks as part of customers’ secure login and authentication process. The attack infected both corporate and private banking users, performing automatic transfers that varied from €500 to €250,000 each to accounts spread across Europe.”

Source: How the Eurograbber Attack Stole 36M Euros

LiMux Project Has Saved Munich €10m So Far

November 23rd, 2012 11:11 admin View Comments

Government

Mojo66 writes “After project savings had been estimated to amount to at least €4 million in March, more precise figures are now in: Over €10 million (approximately £8 million or $12.8 million) has been saved by the city of Munich, thanks to its development and use of the city’s own Linux platform. The calculation compares the current overall cost of the LiMux migration with that of two technologically equivalent Windows scenarios: Windows with Microsoft Office and Windows with OpenOffice. Reportedly, savings amount to over €10 million. The study is based on around 11,000 migrated workplaces within Munich’s city administration as well as 15,000 desktops that are equipped with an open source office suite. The comparison with Windows assumes that Windows systems must be on the same technological level; this would, for example, mean that they would have been upgraded to Windows 7 at the end of 2011. Overall, the project says that Windows and Microsoft Office would have cost just over €34 million, while Windows with Open Office would have cost about €30 million. The LiMux scenario, on the other hand, has reportedly cost less than €23 million. A detailed report (in German) is available.”

Source: LiMux Project Has Saved Munich €10m So Far

Vendors Sue Dutch Government Over Media Levies

November 21st, 2012 11:10 admin View Comments

Music

An anonymous reader writes with news that hardware vendors aren’t too happy about expanded levies on media. From the article: “Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Dell, and Imation are suing the Dutch government over new levies on hard disks, smartphones, tablets, and MP3 players that are meant to compensate the music and movie industries for losses caused by home copying. The entertainment industry estimates lost income of €40 million, which is much too high, according to the hardware companies. ‘That amount is excessive and completely unfounded,’ they said. The €40 million also incorporates damages for illegally downloaded music and movies which, according to the companies, legally cannot be recovered by a levy on devices. Furthermore the Dutch government established a levy on all devices including devices for professional use that are not used for private copying, they said.”

Source: Vendors Sue Dutch Government Over Media Levies

Intel Invests In ASML To Boost Extreme UV Lithography, 450mm Wafers

July 10th, 2012 07:19 admin View Comments

Intel

MrSeb writes “When Intel goes looking for new chip manufacturing technology to invest in, the company doesn’t play for pennies. Chipzilla has announced a major investment and partial purchase of lithography equipment developer ASML. Intel has agreed to invest €829 million (~$1B USD) in ASML’s R&D programs for EUV and 450mm wafer deployment, to purchase €1.7B worth of ASML shares ($2.1B USD, or roughly 10% of the total shares available) and to invest general R&D funds totaling €3.3B (~$4.1B USD). The goal is to bring 450mm wafer technology and extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) within reach despite the challenges facing both deployments. Moving to 450mm wafers is a transition Intel and TSMC have backed for years, while smaller foundries (including GlobalFoundries, UMC, and Chartered, when it existed as a separate entity) have dug in their heels against the shift — mostly because the shift costs an insane amount of money. It’s effectively impossible to retrofit 300mm equipment for 450mm wafers, which makes shifting from one to the other extremely expensive. EUVL is a technology that’s been percolating in the background for years, but the deployment time frame has slipped steadily outwards as problems stubbornly refused to roll over and solve themselves. Basically, this investment is a signal from Intel that it intends to push its technological advantage over TSMC, GloFo, UMC, and Samsung, even further.”

Source: Intel Invests In ASML To Boost Extreme UV Lithography, 450mm Wafers

7,000 Irish e-Voting Machines To Be Scrapped

June 29th, 2012 06:09 admin View Comments

Government

lampsie writes You may recall from back in January 2012 that the Irish government had deemed their stock of 7,000 e-voting machines ‘worthless.’ Turns out they are not — after spending upwards of €54 million purchasing them almost a decade ago, all 7,000 will now be scrapped for €70,000 (just over nine Euros each). The machines were scrapped because ‘they could not be guaranteed to be safe from tampering [...] and they could not produce a printout so that votes/results could be double-checked.’”

Source: 7,000 Irish e-Voting Machines To Be Scrapped

With Euro Zone Problems, Bitcoin Experiencing Boost In Legitimacy

June 12th, 2012 06:15 admin View Comments

Bitcoin

derekmead writes “Despite being used for drugs and beef jerky, Bitcoin is finding legitimate purposes. Bitcoin’s decentralized convenience means international efficiency, in areas where local restrictions on money transfers to foreign companies make legal businesses cumbersome. ‘I’ve been able to have cash in my bank account in a matter of hours using Bitcoin, rather than three days with traditional banking,’ one British businessman in China told Reuters. In embattled Europe, Bitcoin offers some a viable alternative against central banks, said a Greek owner of an island bar and restaurant who accepts payment in Bitcoin. ‘I don’t put money in the banks. I trust the euro as a note, but I don’t trust banks. I don’t want them making money out of my earnings.’ Indeed, Europe’s financial woes are caused an unprecedented surge of interest in the alternative currency, as the continent loses economic credibility with each new bailout, according to a report by the Financial Post.”

Source: With Euro Zone Problems, Bitcoin Experiencing Boost In Legitimacy

Watching the Euro 2012 Soccer Tournament Online (Legally or Otherwise)

June 8th, 2012 06:15 admin View Comments

Friday, June 8, is one of those days that rolls around every two years on which productivity throughout much of the world is going to take a gigantic hit. That’s because the Euro 2012 tournament gets under way, and it’ll capture the attention of every serious soccer/football fan around the planet. And we do mean “planet” – this competition among 16 European nations is second in quality and importance only to the World Cup, and even non-European fans will be tracking it avidly. Many will be watching it online – and here’s how.

Let’s face it: You can’t take the entire next month off to watch all these games. (If you can? We want your job.) So online viewing of some sort is going to be indispensable for seeing the action while somehow simultaneously fending off your boss and getting your work done. And not everyone will be able to rely on the most legal methods to pull it off. Whether you’re patched into a legal network or looking for an illicit stream, it’s not that hard to find the games you want online or on your mobile device.

All Aboveboard

If you’re tapped into one of the broadcast networks in a major country that has the Euro 2012 rights, you should be in good shape for seeing these games on your computer, tablet or phone. In the United States, that means ESPN, which is the sole rights-holder for the tourney. And you couldn’t be in better hands for getting online access, given ESPN’s continuing push to become ubiquitous on every device you might own, short of an original Kindle. ESPN3.com is your computer’s portal to all of the Euro 2012 games, and you won’t need to be at home and patched into your cable box to get it, either.

If you’re away from that, ESPN3 will simply ask you to log in with your cable provider account first; once you’ve done that, you should be good to watch. The navigation is easy enough: Links for all of these games are likely to be on the home page, but you can also click the “Soccer” drop-down tab and choose the appropriate tab (Live Now, Upcoming or Replay).

Your phone should be just as simple to use for watching the tournament, now that ESPN has gradually extended access to its WatchESPN app for iOS and Android, originally available only to Time Warner customers, to those on Verizon, BrightHouse and Comcast. Comcast users with Android devices haven’t yet gotten the updated app for streaming, but Comcast iPhone users and everyone else can fire up WatchESPN and find a game in real time with relative ease. AT&T U-verse subscribers can access games by using their mobile U-verse app and choosing ESPN Mobile TV. For replays, using any of the methods to access ESPN3 (which is one of the WatchESPN channels) is your ticket to entire game rebroadcasts – and if you have an Xbox Gold subscription, you can do that on your TV, too.

The situations are fairly similar in other countries where rights holders have websites and apps available. In the United Kingdom, the BBC and ITV have split the broadcast rights, and each network will be streaming matches online and through phone apps. (ITV just upgraded its iOS app Wednesday to allow for live streaming on phones, just in time for Euro 2012.) Australians can see all of the matches via Setanta Sports’s Setanta-i online stream, with SBS picking up selected games for free broadcast. English-speaking Canadians will have to pay to see the games on TSN.ca, but TSN Mobile TV is free for Bell Mobility or Virgin Mobile subscribers on iOS, Android and Blackberry; Francophones have options through RDS. Wikipedia’s comprehensive list of international rights holders should help you figure out what your options are in other countries.

A Little Bit Sketchier

But let’s say that you can’t get to a legal source for the tournament; maybe you don’t have the right package, or you’re one of those people who’s chosen to bag cable and go entirely wireless with your life. Can you see these games at all?

Answer: Of course you can. A host of websites tap illicitly into satellite streams of worldwide soccer matches, often with several different links to feeds, and bring them to your computer. Every hardcore soccer fan ends up dealing with these sooner or later; even if you’re paying for a cable or satellite package that brings you Fox Soccer Channel and GolTV in the U.S., those channels don’t carry every single game you’ll ever want to see. How else were you going to watch New Caledonia clinch a stunning 2-0 upset of New Zealand in the Oceania region World Cup qualifiers?

So, people turn to one of the many streaming sites. Understand, though, that – pretty much as with any illegal music/movies download site or other below-the-lines website – you’re entering a sketchy world that can include popup pages, overlay ads, NSFW images and, yes, even viruses or other malware. Go into this with your eyes open, and try to follow these rules:

  • Have your antivirus software on at all times.
  • Use a popup blocker; it’ll improve the experience dramatically.
  • Don’t install any software; these sites mostly are running Flash video, so you don’t need the iLivid Download Manager (a ubiquitous choice) or any of the other offerings with which you’ll be confronted.
  • Don’t pay any money. These sites will be happy to grab your credit card number in exchange for “HD video” that may or may not exist. Don’t go there; if you want an HD experience, you should be using one of the legal methods, anyway.
  • If you get one of those helpful “Malware Detected!” warnings, close your window or tab immediately and try the next site.
  • If things go really haywire, be ready to force-quit your browser (Force Quit under the Apple menu on a Mac after you Command-Tab out of the application; Ctrl-Alt-Delete on a PC to kill the process on a PC).
  • Click carefully. You’ll be getting ads overlaid on the embedded video, and accidentally clicking on one can have 40 tabs opened on your browser before you know what’s hit you. Make sure you actually hit the X or Close tab.
  • And when you actually make it to your game video, try to run as few applications or other browser pages as you can. Your stream is bouncing around the globe before it gets to you, so you want to smooth out the experience as much as possible.

That said, it’s entirely possible to find a video stream of a Euro 2012 game without suffering any mishaps. A Google search of “streaming football online” will bring up a plethora of choices. (Yes, “football”; don’t forget that your stream is coming from countries that couldn’t care less about the NFL.) I tested a few of the top results, FreeFootball.org, First Row Sports and 12thPlayer.com, and was able to watch game video with fairly minimal effort or problems at all three sites. 12th Player has the advantage of a clean interface without ad or popup clutter, and although FreeFootball does have those issues, that site has always been reliable in the past. Take your pick.

One caveat: Don’t expect a great experience trying this on your phone, if you can watch at all. The iPhone will yell at you about Flash video, and that’s if you even make it to a video – popups were a huge problem in my tests of the iPhone. The iPad is also going to hit you with the Flash issue. Android phone and tablet users may have a slightly easier time of it, but for the most part, you’re better off using these sites on a computer.

Unlike ESPN3, these sites aren’t likely to offer you replays on games. But it’s still possible to see those if you’re willing to download torrented game captures. Open services such as The Pirate Bay or membership boards like Demonoid are good bets to have captured game videos, in formats ranging from AVI to full HD-quality .ts MPEG Transport Stream rips (playable with the cross-platform VLC video player). With the popularity of this tournament worldwide, finding well-seeded torrents shouldn’t be too tough within a day of any given game. And Usenet users might have some luck with the alt.binaries.multimedia.sports group.

Source: Watching the Euro 2012 Soccer Tournament Online (Legally or Otherwise)

Portugal Is Considering a “Terabyte Tax”

April 13th, 2012 04:28 admin View Comments

Data Storage

An anonymous reader writes “As a proposal to avoid becoming the ‘next Greece’, a Portuguese opposition party has proposed a tax on storage. The party claims that the tax will not effect the average citizen and is mostly levied at business users, but internal storage on mobile phones means a 64GB iPhone could be €32 more expensive. From the article: ‘The proposal would have consumers paying an extra €0.2 per gigabyte in tax, almost €21 extra per terabyte of data on hard drives. Devices with storage capacities in excess of 1TB would pay an aggravated tax of 2.5 cents per GB. That means a 2TB device will in fact pile on €51.2 in taxes alone (2.5 cents times 2048GB). External drives or “multimedia drives” as the proposed bill calls them, in capacities greater than 1TB, can be taxed to the tune of 5 cents per gigabyte, so in theory, a 2TB drive would cost an additional €103.2 per unit (5 cents times 2048GB).”

Source: Portugal Is Considering a “Terabyte Tax”

What Do Angels Want?

April 13th, 2012 04:00 admin View Comments

What entrepreneur hasn’t dreamed that our startup will experience the same magical beginnings as Google? In 1998, before they even incorporated, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page were trying to present their concept to early-stage, or “angel” investors, with limited success. Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim was one such angel. He didn’t have time to listen to their whole pitch, but wrote them a check for $100,000 anyway.

Alas, most companies don’t have so easy a time. There are ways to attract these rare and beautiful creatures. You just have to know what they’re looking for.

Finding investors tops the must-do list for most startups, and that typically starts with finding an angel. Before you start the angel hunt though, it helps to know what angels are looking for before they’ll invest.

There’s a lot at stake. According to the just-released Halo Report from the Angel Capital Association and the Angel Resource Institute (ARI), founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, “The median size of angel & angel group syndicate rounds was $700,000″ last year, up from $500,000 in 2010. That’s enough to jumpstart your company’s development in a way bootstrapping and maxing out your credit cards simply can’t match.

So what do angels want?

Before an angel investor writes a check, he or she wants to know if you have the leadership skills to grow your venture. And they want to make sure you thoroughly understand the market, who your competition is and how your product or service is uniquely positioned to create a market impact.

Also high on angels’ wish lists:

• Are you coachable or intractable? Angels are not likely to take a back seat. It’s their money, so most likely they’ll expect to have input on major decisions. Will you be open to following their advice? Or do you think no one could possibly understand your business as well as you do (an all-too-common entrepreneurial misconception)?

• Does your business have legs? Once the money from the initial round of funding is gone, does a viable business concept remain? Will you be generating enough revenues to keep growing?

• How realistic are your projections? All pitches consist of some levels of hype and hope. Angel investors want to know the true size of the market, revenue potential, barriers to entry and competitive landscape.

• What’s your end game? Even though you’re just getting started, investors want to know about your exit strategy. How will they get their money out? The Angel Capital Association reports most angels want to achieve their goals within five to seven years.

• It’s all about the money. How much do you really need now, and specifically what do you need it for? How much will you need six months from now? What percentage of ownership does their money buy? How much money have you personally invested? (No one wants to invest in something you’re not willing to invest in yourself.) And where will additional funding, if needed, come from?

Of course there’s much more. Angels will ask about your patents, trademarks, copyrights or other protections, marketing strategies and expansion plans.

But really it’s all about you. Angels are looking for the 3 Cs. If you want them to bless you with their money (and advice), you need to be Confident, Capable and Committed.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Source: What Do Angels Want?

Munich Has Saved €4M So Far After Switch To Linux

March 28th, 2012 03:19 admin View Comments

The Almighty Buck

New submitter Mojo66 writes “Mayor Ude reported today that the city of Munich has saved €4 million so far (Google translation of German original) by switching its IT infrastructure from Windows NT and Office to Linux and OpenOffice. At the same time, the number of trouble tickets decreased from 70 to 46 per month. Savings were €2.8M from software licensing and €1.2M from hardware because demands are lower for Linux compared to Windows 7.”

Source: Munich Has Saved €4M So Far After Switch To Linux

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